2 Samuel 10, which I’m preaching on this weekend, is an interesting chapter. It gives the account of David reaching out with kindness (Hebrew hesed) to a gentile King, Hunan the Ammonite. Hunan however does not reciprocate the kindness and severely humiliates David’s messengers, sending them home with half their beards shaved and no pants on. David then sends his general, Joab, to beat up on the Ammonites and their guns for hire – the Arameans.
I’m convinced that David’s attempt to show kindness to Hunan is Godly, even though it is unsuccessful. The question is, what to do with this in terms of Biblical theology? On the one hand, you could see David as exemplary of the Lord’s King, offering grace to all, even the gentiles, and justly dealing with those who reject him. As such Jesus perfectly fulfills the model that David sets up of the King who brings grace for all, but judges those who don’t respond to him.
On the other hand, you could argue that David’s unsuccessful attempt to show grace to the gentiles is a sign of his limitations and a hint that something more is needed. With this approach, Jesus becomes the solution to the problem of gentile rejection. Jesus is the King who succesfully brings grace to the gentiles where David and all other Kings had failed.
So What do you think – Is David a positive example of grace and judgment, or a frustrated example of grace for all, even including the gentiles.